Friday, 29 July 2016

Sleep And Train Your Way To Better Athletic Performance

Let's be clear about my premise here - sleep is an important element of an athlete's overall training regime and not an after-thought. This article is aimed at performance athletes who think they can burn the candle at both ends and expect to have consistent record-setting days - they can't. Neither can you sleep for long hours and expect to blow past your competitors without putting in the training time. Balance is key on training and getting rest. It's a delicate balance especially for young and student athletes. But my experience suggests most athletes don't schedule sleep time to recover adequately before their next session. Most qualified trainers at athletic performance facilities are aware of studies that confirm athletes who get an extra amount of sleep perform at higher levels than those that do not. By extra we're talking about 10-hours instead of the traditional 8-hours. Olympic class athletes think nothing of getting minimum of 10-hours sleep as they realize the value and serious preparation required for not only their competitive performances but for their training sessions. Let me say this another way - top class athletes realize getting plenty of rest between training sessions is as important as taking extra hours the night before competition. Many of the benefits that accompany getting an extra amount of sleep include: Increased energy levels Improved moods during practices and games Decreased levels of fatigue after considerable periods of exertion Improved mental acuity Reduced injuries caused by fatigue. When looking at student athletes, the notion of getting extra hours of sleep to help improve performance is often easier said than done. Leading tremendously active lives with long and arduous practice sessions scheduled every day, attending classes and keeping up with after-class assignments and preparations, and perhaps the part-time job to be able to have a little spending money, often leave little time for "extra" sleep. It's often only through the sound advice and direction from a highly trusted coach or trainer that the young athlete will become disciplined enough to work this extra amount of sleep into their regimen. Knowing the detrimental effects of too little sleep, it's safe to assume getting the correct amount of sleep or perhaps even a little extra sleep will not only keep these negative events from occurring, but that general mood and performance will be further improved across the board. The athlete will also be able to approach each workout fresh and able to push a tough workout while reducing the risk of a practice injury. It's well known too little sleep negatively affects general physical health, emotional well-being, and one's mental acuity. These diminished capacities in turn negatively impact the athlete's levels of productivity and performance. No studies conducted to date have attributed these negative consequences to one getting extra sleep if the body is trained and tuned for peak sports performance. Those that are serious about improving their athletic results need to be serious about getting additional sleep as part of their training regimen. Preparing for sleep by relaxing beforehand and meditating prior to lying down are common steps taken to unwind and prepare the mind before going to sleep. Taking sleep as seriously as exercise is just one more key to obtaining total athletic performance.

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